Thursday, June 11, 2009

6/6/09: A Taste of Evil (1971)

A Taste of Evil starts with Susan Wilcox, a girl of about 11, being attacked and then raped at her home by an unknown assailant. Flash-forward to several years later, and we learn that the incident left Susan traumatized to the point of catatonia for quite some time. The mental wounds now having been healed, Susan returns home to confront her demons—only to find that the original menace may still be lurking in the shadows. Or is it all in her imagination? As we learn what's really going on in A Taste of Evil, there are some unexpected twists in the tale; farfetched though some of it is, the movie did keep me spellbound throughout—this is precisely the sort of thriller I would have absolutely loved as a kid, and it still keeps me entertained today. The movie is a close cousin to another TV shocker from my youth: A Strange and Deadly Occurrence, made in 1974 by the same director, John Llewellyn Moxey. Evil coaxes good performances from Barbara Stanwyck, Barbara Parkins, Roddy McDowall, William Windom and Arthur O'Connell. Nicely written by horror-movie veteran screenwriter Jimmy Sangster. Rating: 4/5.

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